The Rise of the Chinese Independent Traveler

Rafat Ali, Skift

Sep 11, 2013 7:30 am

In our launch report “Rise of the Chinese Independent Traveler,” Skift has put together the most definitive report covering what the next generation of Chinese travelers want from their experience.

Mainland China is now the world’s largest source of foreign tourists, as well as the world’s biggest spenders on hotels and retail while they travel.

And despite slowing economic growth at home, the trend continues unabated. In the first five months of 2013, nearly 40 million Chinese traveled abroad, a double-digit increase over 2012′s already record numbers.

While outbound travel for Chinese mainland citizens is still dominated by group tours that often bus the tourists from city to city, its growth is slowing when compared to the meteoric rise of independent tourism. Fully independent outbound tourism is growing even faster than foreign travel in general, and the market is still in its infancy. This trend goes hand-in-hand with a demographic sea change for China: a second generation of affluent consumers coming of age.

We look at the forces that influence China’s outbound market and the mega-trends they are shaping. We also examine strategies that will help travel providers understand and market to these increasingly independent travelers.

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